As part of The Drum Network's mission to share our members' expertise with the wider world, we're happy to present the latest in a series of our '10 questions with...' series, only this time it's slightly adapted to accommodate StrawberryFrog's 11-person management team:
1. What was your first ever job?
Karin Drakenberg, chief operations officer: My first ever "real" job, after years of babysitting for families in my Swedish hometown, was a weekend job at the counter at McDonald's on Kungsgatan in Stockholm, their very first location in Sweden. I was maybe 15 or 16 years old, in highschool, and wanted to earn money so I could go skiing in the Alps with my friends. The joint was very greasy and the job stressful, and I remember being on my feet most of the day wearing Swedish wooden clogs (the fashion at the time). The pants they provided were WAY too long and wide for me, so I took them home and altered them on my mom's sewing machine. The boss didn't like that at all...I lasted there for about a year, and then “upgraded” to another much less greasy job as a salesperson at H&M.
2. Which industry buzzword annoys you most?
Josh Greenspan, executive creative director: As much as I want to say “ear worm” because it makes me think of The Wrath of Khan, I have to go with a more general annoyance. Word combos. You know them - edutainment, brandvertising, freemium, netiquette. Each abomination of the English language is worse than the next, and industry folk just can’t get enough. And just when you think you’ve heard them all, someone smashes two new unsuspecting words together like a linguistic Doctor Moreau. Please stop. It’s naus-gervating.
3. Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?
Jon Zeidner, finance director: I wouldn’t call myself an avid consumer of social media, but I do enjoy following the US National Parks and Department of Interior Instagram accounts, they do a really good job of capturing the essence and majesty of our protected lands.
4. Highlight of your career (so far?)
Liza Haffenberg, head of employee & wellbeing movements: Starting my career in marketing communication as a young Swede in Tokyo. And lately, reinventing the way Walmart engages with its 1.5M employees in service of launching an internal Movement to activate the company’s purpose at a grassroots level.
5. Biggest career lesson (so far?)
Chip Walker, head of strategy: It's more important to manage your energy than manage your time.
6. What piece of tech can you not live without?
Nicola Conneally, chief of staff: Can’t live without my smartphone! I use it all the time for everything. But most importantly my phone keeps me connected to my friends and family around the world and almost makes us feel like we’re living our lives together.
7. Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
Dan Langlitz, group account director: As a younger teen I was big into sports. I’m from South Jersey outside Philly, so it was guys like Randall Cunningham, Charles Barkley, Reggie White, and I loved Ken Griffey Jr even though he wasn’t a Phillie. Then later on heading into college I remember having Outkast and Eminem posters up on my walls!
8. In marketing, what needs to change soon?
Shana Bellot, head of business partnerships & account management: Inauthenticity. Brands or organizations that say one thing, but then their actions tell a different story. It’s more important than ever to “walk the walk.”
9. What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?
Tyler DeAngelo, executive creative director: The book “Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track : The Letters of Richard P. Feynman” changed the way I think about creativity. Richard Feynman was a brilliant physicist..he’s an amazingly inspiring person that used creativity to find simple solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems. This is when I first realized the power of creativity and how truly hard it is to be simple.
10. Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?
Liz Scordato, head of project management: Last year we attended the WAATBP conference (Where Are All The Black People?) and we are excited to attend this year again. It’s obviously an amazing forum for recruitment, with an emphasis on diversity, but also offers really powerful panel discussions and features several captivating keynote speakers.
11. What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Scott Goodson, founder and CEO: Essentials of a long lasting relationship, what must they be:
- Honesty. Whatever happens, client and agency, need to tell each other the truth.
- Trust and mutual forgiving of mistakes, which are unavoidable on both sides.
- Absence of fear. Nobody can produce great work, under a Damocles sword.
- Acknowledgement of jobs well done.
- Mutual agreement that carrots produce largely better and more work than whips.
- Openness from wherever ideas come from. They often come from the client.
Close involvement at the top of client and agency. The big picture must constantly be clear to everybody.
Nobody is permitted to waver in the belief of the essential values of the brand.
A sense of humor, which allows both sides to have as much fun as possible,in the interest of outstanding commitment and work.